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07-31-2009, 11:11 PM   #1
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Bittersweet Dealer Search Experience

I know this topic is probably getting tedious, but here goes.

I am pretty much sold on someday getting a K20D, or even a K7, and realize I may have to order one trusting that the ergonomics, which is so important to many of us, will work for me.

I thought I'd take another shot at calling several of the larger camera stores around the SF Bay Area and ask about Pentax stock. From most I still got the usual terse response about not carrying Pentax anymore, or they had some remnant stock, could get them, blah, blah.

I called one of the largest, well established stores (not in SF) for the second time, thinking maybe I'd get a different person on the phone. I did. He said that some time back the owner decided not to carry Pentax anymore, but the person on the phone went on and on about the high quality of Pentax products, value for the price, and how they are making great products and wished they carried Pentax. Well, I guess that was validating and refreshing, but a distant second to the tactile satisfaction of handling the camera. Regardless, I'll still order one someday.

07-31-2009, 11:23 PM   #2
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If you can make the drive, San Jose Camera in San Jose (obviously) carries Pentax. When I went there last week, I bought a DA* 50-135 from them to show my support. The salesman was surprised that I had a K-7 before they did, so I was glad to let him play around with it. I saw 3 bodies on their shelf, so I'm thinking one is a K20D.

I'm hoping they continue to stock Pentax, as I lost my previous local provider (K&S in Palo Alto). Frys also carries some Pentax stuff; I saw a K-m at both the Palo Alto and San Jose stores. And if the rumors are true, the K-7 should start showing up on the floor too.

- Jason
07-31-2009, 11:29 PM   #3
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Thanks, that's great to know. Only W---Mart was listed on the Pentax site as a local dealer.

K&S was the dealer whose person gave me the positive feedback re Pentax.
07-31-2009, 11:39 PM   #4
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Go to the K-7 Roadshow on August 9th.

Here's the thread, location hasn't been announced yet. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/gatherings-events-photo-trips/67501-penta...-tour-u-s.html

People will have their cameras with them, you may be able to try all of them if you're lucky, IST right thru to K-7

07-31-2009, 11:43 PM   #5
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Yup. I had seen a K20D there a few weeks ago, but today he said they didn't have or stock them.
07-31-2009, 11:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biff Quote
Yup. I had seen a K20D there a few weeks ago, but today he said they didn't have or stock them.

I saw that K&S were mentioned so changed my post, look again.
08-01-2009, 05:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biff Quote
I know this topic is probably getting tedious, but here goes.

I am pretty much sold on someday getting a K20D, or even a K7, and realize I may have to order one trusting that the ergonomics, which is so important to many of us, will work for me.
Biff, keep in mind that ordering a camera doesn't require that you "trust" that the ergonomics will satisfy you. In my experience, companies like Amazon and B&H handle returns graciously and efficiently; indeed, a sustainable and reputable internet operation selling products to customers sight unseen requires an effective return system. Ordering from B&H, even if a return is ultimately necessary, would be more convenient than spending a day driving back and forth to a dealer three or four hours away.

Understand, I think examining a camera locally (assuming one is available) is always preferable (I've been looking for a dealer in the Houston area that carries the K-7), and I'm not suggesting you order a camera just to take it for a "joy ride." However, if you order a camera in good faith believing it will be ideal for you, there's no moral obligation for you to keep it if such turns out not to be the case.

On another note, I notice folks are saying that at least some Fry's in California are stocking the K-7 - maybe that would be of use to you.

Jer
08-01-2009, 09:46 AM   #8
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I find it amazing that so many people are not able to go to a camera store and try the K-7. Especially so many people in large US cities. To not be able to find a K-7 in SF is just nuts.

In another thread Nostatic was lambasted for buying a K-7 online, trying it out, not liking the ergonomics, and sending it back.

I think this IS Pentax's new business model in the US. Buy the camera online, try it out, and return it if you don't like it. This might seem like an abuse of a flexible return policy, but really, what choice do people have anymore?

The part I really find strange, is that in my neck of the woods, I can walk to more than one store and check out the K-7. The first K-7 I picked up was in a city of 300,000 people. Why do stores carry Pentax where I live and not in large US cities?

08-01-2009, 10:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
The part I really find strange, is that in my neck of the woods, I can walk to more than one store and check out the K-7. The first K-7 I picked up was in a city of 300,000 people. Why do stores carry Pentax where I live and not in large US cities?
Maybe it has more to do with general trends in U.S. retailing than Pentax specifically.

People in the U.S. seem to do a lot more online ordering than other countries I have experience in.

Some possible reasons that come to mind:
  • People live in sprawled out areas, which reduces density and makes it harder for good brick-and-mortar retailers to survive
  • A general obsession with low prices to the exclusion of all else; this tends to force "good" stores out of business in favor of "cheap" mass market stores; online stores of course have very low overhead.
08-01-2009, 01:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by snogglethorpe Quote
Maybe it has more to do with general trends in U.S. retailing than Pentax specifically.
[/LIST]
Perhaps, but the fact is there are B&M stores in Houston that carry Canon, Nikon and some Sony (HCE, Houston Camera Co-op, Wolf, Best Buy) but nowhere (that I know of) can I examine a K-7.

Jer
08-01-2009, 06:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sailor Quote
Perhaps, but the fact is there are B&M stores in Houston that carry Canon, Nikon and some Sony (HCE, Houston Camera Co-op, Wolf, Best Buy) but nowhere (that I know of) can I examine a K-7.
I think the factors I mentioned tend to reduce diversity. Stores concentrate on the top few big names and eliminate any "fringe" products, and the sort of small store that might be more inclined to offer a less generic experience tends to go out of business...
08-01-2009, 07:11 PM   #12
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Pentax USA has made it pretty clear they don't want most brick & mortar dealers! They did this in numerous ways.

1. Dumping all dealers that didn't do $100,000 a year. That killed any dealers in small towns. They said it was too much for them to handle all the small dealers. Then they opened thir own website to sell one at a time to consumers. Hmmm.

2. Local store carries Pentax. They aren't listed on the Pentax dealer finder. Sam's club is. How many Pentax DSLR do they have in stock? Ixnay, nada, 0.

3. Newest Pentax DSLRs have a "warning" packed in the box that tells people in case of trouble don't return camera to store. Any real camera shop wants people to return with problems so they can be helped. Big box stores don't. Pentax knows most big box stores are clueless with cameras.

Pentax thinks the internet is the future of retailing. We will see. If the government passes taxes on internet sales (they will they need cash) Pentax could be in for a rough.

thanks
barondla

Check out POINT & SHOOT CONTEST #20 WINNERS in P&S forum. Enter # 21. Any brand camera. Enter now!
08-01-2009, 10:09 PM   #13
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I purchased my K100DS sight unseen from the internet and couldn't of been happier (I did try out N&C at my local Wolf camera before my purchase)

I just purchased a "refurb" K20 from BB and I am more happy........

Ray
08-01-2009, 10:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Pentax USA has made it pretty clear they don't want most brick & mortar dealers! They did this in numerous ways.

1. Dumping all dealers that didn't do $100,000 a year. That killed any dealers in small towns. They said it was too much for them to handle all the small dealers. Then they opened thir own website to sell one at a time to consumers. Hmmm.

2. Local store carries Pentax. They aren't listed on the Pentax dealer finder. Sam's club is. How many Pentax DSLR do they have in stock? Ixnay, nada, 0.

3. Newest Pentax DSLRs have a "warning" packed in the box that tells people in case of trouble don't return camera to store. Any real camera shop wants people to return with problems so they can be helped. Big box stores don't. Pentax knows most big box stores are clueless with cameras.

Pentax thinks the internet is the future of retailing. We will see. If the government passes taxes on internet sales (they will they need cash) Pentax could be in for a rough.

thanks
barondla

Check out POINT & SHOOT CONTEST #20 WINNERS in P&S forum. Enter # 21. Any brand camera. Enter now!
C&N lost a lot of bucks when some of these retailers went belly up, I don't think Pentax could afford to lose that kind of money and played it smart.
08-01-2009, 10:30 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
I find it amazing that so many people are not able to go to a camera store and try the K-7. Especially so many people in large US cities. To not be able to find a K-7 in SF is just nuts.

In another thread Nostatic was lambasted for buying a K-7 online, trying it out, not liking the ergonomics, and sending it back.

I think this IS Pentax's new business model in the US. Buy the camera online, try it out, and return it if you don't like it. This might seem like an abuse of a flexible return policy, but really, what choice do people have anymore?

The part I really find strange, is that in my neck of the woods, I can walk to more than one store and check out the K-7. The first K-7 I picked up was in a city of 300,000 people. Why do stores carry Pentax where I live and not in large US cities?
I would think that it is because of your proximity to an import area. At the puget sound, many many shipments come in from japan. I think Seattle has a very high rate of getting stuff first from the other side of the pacific.
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